Friday 1 October 2021

What we need to Know About Colostomy

Surgery to make an opening or stoma from the large intestine is called a colostomy. The stoma is placed to bypass the rectum to expel waste from the body. The waste empties into a pouch worn on the outside of your abdomen. 

A colostomy may serve to also remove a part of the lower large intestine when blocked or damaged. This may be needed when there is colorectal cancer. And sometimes to treat prostate, uterine, ovarian, or cervical cancer. Crohn’s disease, pre-cancerous colon polyps, or ulcerative colitis, may also need this procedure. A stoma may be needed only for a few months to allow healing of the colon or rectum. But a permanent stoma may be needed in some cases.

There are five parts of the large intestine that determine the type of colostomy needed. The end of the large intestine where the stool is more regular and solid requires a sigmoid colostomy. A transverse colostomy is needed across the top of the abdomen where the stool is soft. There are three types of transverse colostomy. 

The descending colostomy is for the descending part of the colon on the left side. There the stool is usually firm with most of the water already absorbed. Ascending colostomy is at the ascending part of the colon on the right-side abdomen. There the stool is still liquid with unabsorbed water. An ileostomy is better suited for this part of the colon.

A colostomy requires general anesthesia. The procedure involves attaching a stoma to the colon, then to the colostomy bag. The process can involve a surgical incision or laparoscopic surgery. The latter is less invasive and painful with less recovery time. There are risks involved with the procedure. These may include injury to organs nearby, bleeding inside the colon or from the stoma, and infection.

After colostomy surgery, a hospital stay of up to one week may be needed. But the total recovery may take up to two months. There should be care with the choice of food during the healing process. A temporary colostomy will need a closure or reversal surgery about three months after healing. 

With recovery, there must be colostomy care. Empty the colostomy bag several times each day. There will not be control over stool and gas going into the pouch, so it is best emptied before it gets half full. The pouches are of one-piece and two-piece types. The one-piece pouch attaches to the skin barrier. Two-piece pouches have a skin barrier and a pouch that we can detach from the body. Other options for pouches are the open-end drainable type or the closed-end disposable pouch. 

You will also need to care for your skin around the stoma after a colostomy. It is normal for it to be red and to bleed occasionally. It is important that the pouch connects correctly to the stoma. A poor-fitting pouch can irritate the skin. Keep the area clean and dry. If the skin there is wet, itchy, or painful, it may be the presence of an infection.

A larger output of stool after surgery is normal but will decrease after a few days as your body gets attuned to the colostomy and stoma. There is also the need to avoid foods that will contribute to the buildup of excess gas.

Thursday 23 September 2021

Choosing the Correct Sealant After an Ostomy Procedure

Recovering from surgery takes rest, medication, and systematic wound care. Following all of the doctor's orders allows a patient to recover faster and with fewer long-term issues. For ostomy patients, in which waste is removed from the body outside of the normal biological functioning, it is imperative to take proper care of the area. 

Post ostomy surgery requires care of the stoma, which is the opening that comes as a result of the surgery. Post-surgery care means applying a paste to act as a sealant when using a pouch or bag for waste collection. The paste gives patients a barrier so leaking doesn't occur and helps in sealing any of the gaps that may be present. Pastes can be applied directly to the stoma as they are designed to be non-toxic and won't cause infection of the wound site. A doctor can determine the specific paste that needs to be used and the one that will be most beneficial during post-surgery recovery or long-term care.

As far as applying the paste, most medical pastes come in a tube and need to be applied manually to the area. In Canada, this type of paste is manufactured and comes in a 2oz tube. These alcohol-based pastes are designed not to absorb any of the stool that might leak, and will therefore provide a waterproof seal against leakage. Of course, this seal isn't permanent and over time the consistency and sealing properties of the paste will diminish and re-application becomes necessary. In general, depending on how often you need to have the pouch or bag changed, a paste will usually last 1 or 2 months between applications. And as with all applications, there is the possibility of a reaction, including irritation to the area or even blisters. If this occurs a doctor will recommend another product that won't cause irritation to the patient's skin. Another issue that may occur with tube paste is that the application can be difficult, especially if done by the patient, who may not have the required strength or flexibility to apply the paste properly. 

Strips are a common alternative to pastes and offer the same benefits with the possibility of easier application. The strips come in pre-determined lengths and offer the benefit of not drying out like pastes can do if left exposed to open air. If pastes and stips don't work there is a third option available, barrier rings. Rings work in a similar fashion and provide a barrier to keep anything from leaking out. The rings are applied using the adhesive that is already on the ring and applied to the skin and the appliance. The rings are more expensive than the other applications, which can be a detractor.

The right application depends on the patient and the type of surgery that was completed. It might be paste, stips, or rings that provide the best sealant. Doctors can help in determining which application is right and necessary for continued care and leak stoppage around the area. 

Monday 20 September 2021

Why Include Adhesive Removal Sprays Into Your Routine

According to ostomy, having an adhesive remover is very crucial as part of the stoma care routine. However, most patients would prefer not owning it since it is not a strict measure but a personal choice. Having an adhesive remover as daily stoma care is advisable as part of your personal care. The adhesive remover will help quicken the process of getting rid of the stoma in a gentle and cautious manner.

It is always advisable to choose the correct medical adhesive remover to prevent skin damage. A good number of individuals have sensitive and fragile skin, which is more vulnerable to skin injuries from adhesives in their stoma appliance. Always go for a gentle adhesive removal to keep your skin safe. Medical adhesive removers are the best as they protect your skin from the risky effects of constant skin stripping. Also, they make the stoma-changing procedure painless and much easier.

How to get started with The Adhesive Remover Spray

It is always recommendable when getting rid of stoma makes the procedure slow and steady to avoid pulling your skin. Apply the adhesive removal spray at the edge of the wafer, and you can keep adding as the wafer is peeled off. Make sure the stoma is empty before you begin the procedure. To start off, lift a top corner of your stoma appliance and peel back faintly. Now spray a slight quantity of adhesive remover onto the uncovered area between your skin and the appliance. Let the liquid trickle down for some seconds down behind the flange, freeing the flange from your skin.

Anything You Need To Know About Adhesive Remover Spray

They are present either in spray form or a handy individual wipe.

A good number of the adhesive removers are silicone bases, free from latex and alcohol, protecting the skin from stinginess.

They leave the skin refreshed, clean, and adhesive-free.

They are suitable for use in all age groups.

Most of the adhesive remover spray is non-fragrance though some are enriched with menthol or citrus fragrance.

They are safe to the skin and dry within a few seconds after application.

How to Get Rif of The Residue

After you remove the stoma appliance, some of the parts of adhesive residue can be left behind. It will have a sticky glue appearance which is had to get rid of. During summer, the temperatures are relatively higher, and this can affect the stoma appliance as they get heated up. Tye glue melts slightly, and patches are left behind on the skin. Ensure you spray the adhesive remover on top of a dry wipe, and then spread along with the areas of glue on your skin, and they should get off smoothly.

How to choose the right adhesive spray

Stoma patients should always decide if they would go for the spray or wipe adhesive removers. Most people prefer the adhesive remover sprays, for they are readily available. Also, it's important to always consult your Stoma Care Nurse to help you select your best option and the quantity you need monthly.

Saturday 19 January 2019

A healthy stoma

A stoma is an opening in your stomach that allows food to pass through into the bowel or small intestine. Thus, it formed when part of your bowel gets cut out, and the two ends are brought up to the skin's surface to be easily attached to a bag.

Your stoma will look different depending on its placement, but it should not feel painful. Your consultant will discuss with you how to care for your stoma before you go home after surgery. 

Signs that your stoma has problems

1. Skin irritation

Your skin around your stoma will be red and sore at first because it is irritated by stool passing out of your bowel into the bag. This usually settles over time but follow any advice given about caring for your skin. If pain persists, see your doctor. 

2. Distorted vision

You may get distorted vision if the omentum covers your stoma or causes swelling which presses on an optic nerve. This will usually settle over time but see your ER if it persists.

3. Constipation 

Some people find that their bowel takes longer than usual to work after surgery, which may cause constipation. It would help if you drank enough fluid throughout the day not to become dehydrated, but avoiding drinks containing caffeine can help. Your doctor may advise the use of laxatives

4. Bleeding 

If there is blood on the outside of your bag, change the bag as soon as possible. Blood coming out of the stoma is usually just around its base, attached to the surrounding skin. This should settle within a few days but see your ER if it doesn't improve. Changing the posture you use to apply pressure can sometimes help with pain caused by bleeding around the stoma.

5. Your stoma appears black or dark brown. This may mean that your bowel is not working correctly. The doctor should investigate it.

6. If there is still no change in your stoma's appearance after two weeks, you should see your ER. Do not attempt to pull out any black or dark stomas yourself because leaving fragments behind can damage the bowel.

Improving your stoma 

1. Wearing a support belt: You may need to wear an abdominal support belt for six weeks, particularly during heavy work that puts strain on your abdomen, such as weightlifting or carrying heavy objects.

2. Nutritional supplements: You can take any vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements that you would typically take unless they are contraindicated (not recommended) by your consultant.

3. Your stoma may be more sensitive to stimulation, such as during sexual intercourse.

4. Avoid removing the appliances put in place at the time of surgery unless they need change for another type. 

5. Exercises are vital. Your stoma will not function if you aren't getting the blood flowing correctly through it and within your body. You can use many workout regimens for this purpose, so find what works best for you. Swimming is one exercise that's especially good for those carrying around an ostomy bag because it doesn't put any pressure on your stomach area.

Sunday 10 June 2018

Wardrobe Changes After an Ostomy

So you just went through an ostomy? Enjoying life with your new stoma? Well, I know things can be a bit rough. I know from personal experience that getting a stoma put in is not a super fun process, but there are definitely things you can do to make things easier for yourself. When I had my stoma put in, one of my biggest concerns was what I was going to wear with an ostomy pouch hanging off of me. Obviously I spent the first few weeks after surgery in sweatpants and a hoodie as I recovered on the couch at home, but eventually I knew I was going to have to go back to work and I didn’t know what I was going to be wearing. I don’t want everyone I work with to know that I have had an ostomy! So I’ve learned a few tips and tricks when it comes to dressing with an ostomy pouch and I hope you can find some valuable information in this article that I’m writing for you.

One big tip I have for you is not to sell all of your old clothes that you are worried about not fitting; a piece of advice - it will be easier to fit into your old wardrobe when your body recovers more fully from surgery! It is likely that things are a little bit raw and bloated, which is pretty normal and understandable seeing as you had an ostomy. Unfortunately I jumped the gun a bit after my surgery and threw out a bunch of old clothes that I thought would not fit anymore due to having an ostomy pouch. However, you will find that you can actually wear most of the things you used to even with your new stoma. One of the most important things to do is keep your stoma pouch nicely wrapped and close to your body. This will make it easier to wear even more form fitting clothing and not have your big old ostomy pouch be super noticeable. 

I also recommend some sort of tighter leggings underneath if the weather is not too warm and it looks good with your outfit. This will keep things all nice and tight regarding your pouch and people will not even be able to see your ostomy pouch. I remember feeling very uncomfortable and worried about the idea of people I know noticing that I’m wearing an ostomy bag, but I have come to accept it as just another part of life. Even though it is not very noticeable at all with most of the outfits I wear, it’s still nicer to have peace of mind about the idea of people seeing it. Honestly, it makes me mad that people would make fun of others who have had an ostomy. They really just do not know what it’s like.

Another tip I have for you is to buy ostomy pouches and bags that fit your style and fit well to your body. There are specially designed pouches that are more centered around fashion than functionability, so those are always an option for a fancy night out or something like that. I hope you can find some wardrobe changes that suit you, but remember that most of your old stuff will work just fine! It’s also not the end of the world if people notice your ostomy pouch either.

Sunday 3 June 2018

My Hiking Experience With An Ostomy Bag

So I’m going to kick this off by saying, right away, that I am nowhere near what you would call a smart person. Now I don’t mean academically or logically speaking; because in this sense, I am about average intelligence wise. However, I fall apart when it comes to any sort of common sense, situational awareness, or emotional intelligence scenarios. I have struggled to make smart, conscious decisions for most of my life, and my parents have officially labeled me as their dumbest child out of the family. Maybe some people see that as really discouraging, and I think I used to see it that way too. However, it has been comforting to know in recent years that, no matter how badly I screw up, I can’t do anything to make the people around me feel any more disappointed in me.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you about the time I went hiking with an ostomy bag. I ended up needing a stoma put in my lower intestines when I was 13, so I’ve long since been used to wearing an ostomy bag and taking all the necessary steps and precautions that go along with having a gaping whole in my lower abdomen. I went on a trip for spring break with some of my buddies for college a few years ago, and this would have been the first time ever going on a serious backpacking trip with an ostomy bag. I made sure to research about what fellow ostomates have to say about camping and hiking with an ostomy bag, and got a pretty good idea of the supplies and gear I would need for the trip. 

The trip started off well with me and 2 other buddies in the north east part of the Appalachian trail. Both my friends knew about my ostomy bag but did not really know much about it beyond the extent that if I don’t have it things go poorly for everyone involved. One night we stopped to camp somewhere in the mountains, and I took off my ostomy pouch to start the cleaning process with a few sanitary pads I had brought. Somewhat disguised and intrigued, my buddies wanted to see for themselves how I go about cleaning that wretched thing. I go to put on a new pouch and realize, to my dismay, that I have left my entire supply of ostomy pouches in a bag pack home that I meant to pack. 

“Get used to the smell, lads”, I say to my two buddies. For the rest of the trip, I will have to be sporting the same ostomy bag over miles of mountain ranges and river crossings. All the while I had to hope that I wouldn’t snag my pouch on a stray tree branch or sharp rock, which would lead to serious leakage of my own bodily waste that will forever taint the ground somewhere in the mountains of the Appalachian trail. Luckily, we made it through the 4 day trip without an incident, and I ended up not seriously needing an extra ostomy bag. However, I would not advise spending 4 days without changing your bag, especially when sweating, climbing, and hiking through the mountains. Oh, and the camping food was not helpful for my digestive system either.

Saturday 10 June 2017

Some Stoma Tips and Tricks

Take my advice; from someone who had an ileostomy several years ago and has been living with a stoma ever since, I know a thing or two about stomas and ostomy care. While it can be a bit of a nightmare at first, it is pretty easy to take care of your stoma once you get a handle on things. I have accumulated a lot of knowledge on this topic since I have quite a few years of experience in dealing with these things myself. Consequently, I wanted to be able to hand down some advice to my fellow ostomites out there and help you come to terms with your new stoma in a more productive way. Now, without further ado, here are some tips and tricks about life with a stoma.

The first tip I have is to keep your stoma as clean as possible. Having an ostomy means you have to deal with your stoma for the rest of your life, so it is super important to keep it nice and clean to avoid further complications. You should have been given plenty of ostomy supplies from the hospital after your surgery that should help you with the initial cleaning during recovery, but there are a few important things to remember here. It is totally safe to shower or even bathe with an ostomy, but you are going to need to make sure to keep any type of soap or oil away from your stoma in the case of irritation. Make sure to properly clean the stoma and the surrounding stoma area, and don’t be afraid to really get in there either to keep things clean.

Another helpful tip is to shave the area around the stoma fairly regularly. If you have a decent amount of body hair wherever the stoma is, it might be important to shave it off because it could be harder for your ostomy pouch to stick to your body. It might also be annoying or irritating when trying to peel the thing off the skin barrier if you keep pulling all your little hairs with it. 

Something else I would highly suggest is that you keep active. This usually means that you can keep doing whatever physical activity you enjoyed before getting the surgery no problem! If you like running, then keep running. If you like to lift weights, then keep doing that! However, I would suggest you be careful with weights to not hurt yourself or cause any further complications with your stoma. There are special belts and wraps that are made for keeping your ostomy pouch close to your body during physical activity, so those can come in handy if you are planning on doing some serious workout or any other physical activity.

A final tip I have for you is to travel! Get out doors, go on a road trip, plan a flight overseas; honestly do whatever the heck you want this is your life. Just make sure to pack twice as much supplies as you think you’ll need in case of delays or emergencies. Remember, life is out to get you so you have to be prepared for anything that gets thrown your way, especially when it comes to taking care of your stoma and your ostomy stuff.

What we need to Know About Colostomy

Surgery to make an opening or stoma from the large intestine is called a colostomy. The stoma is placed to bypass the rectum to expel waste ...